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EAST IDAHO ELECTS: Seven running for St. Anthony City Council

East Idaho Elects

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Candidates running for St. Anthony City Council. Top, from left: Russel Rubert, Rick Hill, Les Fadness. Bottom, from left: Ryder Evan Robison, Wendy Sykes, John Sanders.

ST. ANTHONY — Seven candidates are vying for the three City Council seats up for election.

Current St. Anthony City Councilmen Rick Hill, Jerry Browning and Tom Erickson’s four-year terms are up. Hill is the only one out of the three who has chosen to run for re-election.

David Kynoch, Les Fadness, John Sanders, Ryder Evan Robison, Wendy Sykes and Russel Rubert are running for the three seats.

Rick Hill (incumbent)

Rick Hill | Courtesy Rick Hill

Rick Hill was born and raised in St. Anthony. He worked in the farming industry for 30 years up until he sold his farm. Hill has been serving on the St. Anthony City Council for the past six years.

“St. Anthony’s my hometown. I love the people here, and it’s a great place to live. I have just enjoyed being involved in (the city), and I want to see it continue to improve,” Hill told EastIdahoNews.com.

Hill said he has worked on various projects geared toward improving the city during his time on the council.

“I think the council and the mayor and our staff has done a lot of improvements to St. Anthony. We’ve prioritized improving our streets and our roads,” Hill said.

He said he has some unfinished business on the council.

“We’re in the process of adding two more baseball fields down at the baseball complex. I’ve been involved in that. That’s kind of why I’d like to stay. I hope to finish that project,” he said.

Hill said one of the main issues facing St. Anthony is the significant increase in the cost of sanitation. He said the county has begun charging the city more for sanitation, and those costs may continue to rise.

“I’m fairly conservative in the way I look at things. That probably comes from my business background and what I’ve done there. My priority is to maintain and grow our infrastructure … and be able to offer good services like snow removal,” Hill said.

Hill does not have a social media page or campaign website.

David Kynoch

David Kynoch | Courtesy David Kynoch

David Kynoch has lived in Idaho his entire life. After graduating from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a business degree he and his wife moved to St. Anthony in 2009 and has lived there ever since.

“We really love St. Anthony and plan on staying here for a long time. And raise our kids here,” Kynoch told EastIdahoNews.com. “I just want to see this town continue to grow and be a good place to live.”

Kynoch said he hasn’t been involved in local government but feels is his experience in business would benefit the community if he is elected.

“I’ve managed budgets and managed a lot of inventory,” Kynoch said. “As far as managing a budget, I’d be really good at that. And also making sure we stay conservative on spending. But, at the same time, making sure we’re spending in the right areas when we need to.”

He said some of the biggest issues facing St. Anthony are making sure the roads stay maintained and the rising costs of sanitation. But one of his main areas of concern is the city’s zoning.

“I think a big issue is the zoning and planning. Making sure that we have areas zoned properly,” he said. “There’s been a few things I haven’t liked too much where they’ve plopped some businesses right in the middle of residential areas.”

He said he’s concerned about that negatively affecting home values.

“There’s plenty of land around that we could have put those businesses, I feel like, that would have been better for the future growth and home values,” kynoch said.

He said he would like to continue to see more people move to St. Anthony and encourage new businesses to move to the city as well.

Learn more about Kynoch at his Facebook Page Dave Kynoch for St Anthony City Council.

Les Fadness

Les Fadness | Courtesy Les Fadness

Les Fadness moved to St. Anthony in 2004 after retiring as a firefighter to be closer to family. Since moving to the city, Fadness has held a variety of jobs in local and state government doing the things he said he wished he would have done during his 27 years as a firefighter.

“I’ve worked for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game as a wildlife technician up at the Sand Creek Wildlife Management Area. I was a compliance officer with the Madison County Road and Bridge Department developing the Right Way management program,” Fadness told EastIdahoNews.com.

Fadness said he decided to run for City Council, in part, because he believes it’s important for people to be involved in their cities.

“Whether that is through attending meetings or volunteering for various committees, sitting on the city council or planning zoning committee, being an active participant in the growth and forward progress of the community. That’s why I’ve decided to do my part,” he said.

Fadness said some of the issues facing St. Anthony are dealing with growth, the city’s infrastructure and making sure the city is sufficiently funded.

“I think that (the issues) are probably no different than any other city or municipality,” he said.

Fadness said he is earnest in his desire to help improve the city.

“I want only the best for the residents here. Short-term and long-term,” he said. “I am open. I want to be a conduit between the community and our city leadership.”

Learn more about Fadness on his Facebook page Les Fadness for City Council.

John Sanders

John Sanders | Courtesy John Sanders

John Sanders began his career in the Navy in California. Throughout his career, he lived in various states all over the United States. After retiring from the Navy he started a new job and moved to St. Anthony in 2017 to work from home. He said after all the moving around he did in the military, he plans on keeping St. Anthony as his permanent home.

“It’s a great little town. I love it. I’ve been visiting here for about 12 years,” Sanders told EastIdahoNews.com.

Sanders is running for City Council to give back to the community.

“If I happen to get elected and become one of the city councilmembers, I’d like to be one of the people to help develop the future of our community here, and make sure the City Council’s policies align with what citizens are looking to have — their values, their wants and their needs,” he said.

After attending multiple council meetings and reading many of the meeting minutes from previous City Council meetings over the last year, Sanders said he believes the biggest issue facing St. Anthony is managing the budget.

Along with managing the budget, he wants to make sure the city’s money is spent wisely on capital improvements that will improve the resident’s lives.

“I’m a family man. I have strong values when it comes do doing things and managing things in a way that is correct. I love my country. I love the city of St. Anthony. I just look forward to the opportunity to be able to help make the city better and a better place to live, overall,” Sanders said.

Learn more about Sanders on his Facebook page John Sanders for St. Anthony ID City Council.

Ryder Evan Robison

Ryder Evan Robison | Courtesy Ryder Evan Robison

Ryder Evan Robison has lived in St. Anthony for the past six years, but his roots run deep. His father was in the Navy, which caused his family to move around a lot. His mother is a St. Anthony native, and Robison is currently living on the homestead his great-great-grandparents built in 1914.

“I’ve got a lot of family roots here. I grew up visiting and coming to see my grandparents at this very house,” Robison told EastIdahoNew.com. “My wife and I actually moved here from New York City, and it was quite a big, welcome change from living in a big metropolis.”

Robison said through his work as a firefighter and a member of the Planning and Zoning Committee, he has gotten to know a lot of people and learned about their hopes and concerns.

“I think that I could be a good voice for a lot of folks,” he said. “I want to be on City Council because I think I could add a different perspective.”

He said one of the biggest issues facing St. Anthony is the feral cat problem. He said he’d like help find and implement a solution.

Another area he feels needs attention is the growth of the city.

“I think that is a good thing because that brings more business and more folks coming through town. But I want to ensure, with the growth that’s coming, that it’s a sustainable thing that we’re dealing with,” Robison said.

He said he wants to make sure that the city’s infrastructure can handle the growth and that the growth doesn’t get out of hand.

“I do believe I can offer a different perspective on things, a different vantage point on how to address problems and how to gear debate on things that may potentially arise in the future,” Robison said. “I want to be able to serve the people here. It’s not about me. It’s about our community as a whole.”

Robison said he has an Instagram page people are welcome to follow. His handle is rydereveanrobison.

Wendy Sykes

Wendy Sykes | Courtesy Wendy Sykes

Wendy Sykes was born and raised in St. Anthony. For the last six years, she has been donating her time to the local animal shelter to help impounded dogs find new homes. She said this is her first venture into local government but said she has talked to St. Anthony Mayor Donald Powell about ways to give back to the community.

“I would like to try and bring back the family-oriented side of St. Anthony,” Sykes told EastIdahoNews.com. “I’d like to find ways to get tourists to stop in St. Anthony rather than hitting Rexburg first.”

Sykes said she feels one of the biggest issues facing St. Anthony is a lack of support from the community.

“It’s become more and more of an obsolete town, local business(es) don’t get support from the City Council. We need to keep our money local. We need support from our city (and) county people,” Sykes said.

She said she decided to run for the council after a family member approached. She said she talked it over with her husband and decided that she would give it a shot.

“I am very compassionate about this little town,” Sykes said. “I am looking to improve the community.”

She said, if elected, she is willing to give her support to the local community and businesses.

“I want everyone to know I’m approachable and willing to try to help or make changes,” Sykes said.

Sykes does not have a campaign website or social media page.

Russel Rubert

Russel Ruber | Courtesy Russel Rubert

Russel Rubert served on the St. Anthony City Council for six years but stepped down in 2017 when his son had an opportunity to become a St. Anthony police officer. The council is in charge of hiring police personnel, and Rubert didn’t want there to be a conflict of interest that would have prevented his son from serving in the St. Anthony Police Department.

City Councilman Jerry Browning was appointed to take Rubert’s position on the city council. Rubert said he is able to run for re-election now that his son is a city police officer, and the council doesn’t have any direct supervision of the police department.

“I always knew I would to go ahead and run for re-election because I really enjoy working on the City Council. There’s a great group of councilmembers, the mayor and the city staff, and it’s just a really good group of people to be associated with,” Rubert told EastIdahoNews.com.

Rubert said he’s lived in St. Anthony since 1988. He said he has enjoyed living in and raising his children in St. Anthony.

“It’s a good place to live. That’s kind of what prompted me early on to get on the City Council,” he said. “It’s a good place to raise kids, and I wanted to do my part to keep it that way.”

Rubert said snow removal, animal control and the budget are a few of the biggest issues facing St. Anthony. He said he’d also like to see more people involved with the St. Anthony Chamber of Commerce.

“I’ve got a goal to see if we can’t get more people involved and excited about the businesses here in town,” he said.

Rubert said, overall, he believes the city of St. Anthony runs well, and not a lot needs to be changed.

Rubert does not have a social media page or campaign website.

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